China claims to have developed the world’s largest quadrupedal electric bionic robot.
Walking on four legs and with an appearance similar to that of a yak, a bovid native to the mountains of Central Asia and the Himalayas, China’s independently developed robot is the world’s largest, heaviest and most capable off-roader. of its kind, China Central Television (CCTV) reported a few days ago.
A video shared by People’s Daily, also associated with the Chinese government, shows the huge quadruped strolling down an empty road and tackling dusty desert slopes. It’s an impressive mechanical feat that could one day be of great benefit in areas inaccessible to conventional vehicles, and could even be equipped with weapons.
China’s first domestically built “yak” robot with a load capacity of 160 kg made its debut recently. The robot can deal with all sorts of road and weather conditions. pic.twitter.com/x1SPGzn04S
— People’s Daily, China (@PDChina) January 14, 2022
The layout is certainly quite familiar. Chinese machine bears striking resemblance to quadrupedal robot Boston Dynamics AlphaDogfunded by DARPA, which was first shown to the public in 2012.
Judging from the video, the robot is more than half the height of an adult when walking, and its length is about twice its height. It is also capable of moving forward, backward and diagonally, as well as turning, running and jumping, according to the national media. In addition, it can carry up to 160 kilograms and, despite its large size, can run at up to 10 kilometers per hour.
The “mechanical yak” is equipped with sensors to know the surrounding terrain and environment, being able to persistently collect battlefield intelligence and monitor target movements. It has also shown great adaptability to various types of terrain, including steps, trenches, and cliffs, not to mention muddy roads, grasslands, deserts, and snowfields.
This robot is expected to join logistics delivery missions in complex environments that have proven too challenging for human soldiers. This includes remote border regions, such as high-altitude plateaus, icy regions, and dense forests, and high-risk combat zones, as it can replace some human scouts and delivery teams and reduce casualties.
Apparently, the country’s military plans to use it to transport materials, ammunition and food, through mountainous regions or deserts where conventional vehicles have to work too hard. But, more worryingly, it is said that the robot, if necessary, could also be equipped with weapons and carry out reconnaissance missions. It would be like a drone, but on the ground, said a Chinese military expert who wanted to remain anonymous to Global Times.
China also developed a dog-sized quadruped called Geda. It weighs 32 kilograms, but can carry a full load of 40 kilograms of goods, according to the report. This could also help tow supplies in remote areas.
Geda is programmed to understand simple voice commands and use facial recognition. In addition, it has passed tests to traverse forests, rocky paths, narrow passages, and single-plank bridges.
China’s latest arsenal of quadrupedal robots demonstrates the country’s latest technological advances when it comes to the battlefield, a growing industry that could bring changes to combat sooner than we think.